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Role of disease in abundance of a Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi) population
Marty, G.D.; Quinn II, T.J.; Carpenter, G.; Meyers, T.R.; Willits, N.H. (2003). Role of disease in abundance of a Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi) population. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 60(10): 1258-1265
In: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences = Journal canadien des sciences halieutiques et aquatiques. National Research Council Canada: Ottawa. ISSN 0706-652X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Diseases; Mortality; Population number; Recruitment; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Marty, G.D.
  • Quinn II, T.J.
  • Carpenter, G.
  • Meyers, T.R.
  • Willits, N.H.

    Disease significantly affects population abundance of Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi). Comprehensive epidemiological study of the Pacific herring population of Prince William Sound, Alaska, U.S.A., from 1994 to 2000 included complete necropsy examination of 230-500 fish each spring and 40-160 fish each fall (total n = 2983 fish). Mortality is best estimated, through modifications of an age-structured assessment model, using a disease index that combines the prevalence of viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) with the prevalence of ulcers. Risk factors for an epidemic include poor body condition and abundant recruitment before spawning in the spring. Prevalence of the pathogen Ichthyophonus hoferi increased as fish aged, but changes in I. hoferi prevalence were not related to changes in population abundance. Disease that caused an epidemic in 1998 (VHSV and ulcers) nearly disappeared from the population when changes in abundance were detected by traditional stock assessment methods in 1999. Disease significantly affects recruitment - the two lowest recruitment estimates on record, in 1994 and 1999, followed increased natural mortality of adults in 1993 and 1998.

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